Fox News has fired longtime comptroller Judy Slater after an internal investigation concluded she had engaged in a pattern of racist comments and behavior, TheWrap has learned.
Slater, who is white and has worked at Fox for 19 years, was accused of asking one African-American employee if all three of her children were fathered by the same man, according to an individual familiar with the matter.
She also referred to African American women as “sista” and stereotyped African American employees’ speech, openly complaining that they mispronounced words, the individual said.
In another incident, she responded to a good-night message from two African-American employees who stopped by her office by raising her hands in a “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture, a slogan associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, the source said. On another occasion, Slater was also accused of throwing a rolled-up paper ball at one employee’s head.
Once employees came forward with complaints, Fox News newly hired Executive Vice President of Human Resources Kevin Lord oversaw a swift investigation that resulted in Slater’s termination.
When asked for comment, a Fox News spokesperson said, “We take any complaint of this nature very seriously and took the appropriate action in investigating and firing Ms. Slater within two weeks of this being brought to our attention. There is no place for abhorrent behavior like this at Fox News.”
Attempts to reach Slater for comment were unsuccessful. She oversaw payroll and accounts receivable and payable for the two Fox-owned cable news networks.
The employees came forward with their complaints after the network started company-mandated sensitivity training in the wake of last summer’s very public ouster of Fox News founder and CEO Roger Ailes over accusations of sexual harassment by anchor Gretchen Carlson and other female employees.
In addition to the above examples, Slater was accused of demeaning and mocking several African-American employees for their pronunciation of words like “mother,” “father,” “month,” and “ask.” According to an individual familiar with the investigation, she said the employee’s “people” — “blacks” — say “muva,” “fava,” “monf,” and “axe.”
In another instance, she wrote down these words and asked the African-American employees to say them aloud, the individual said.